There have been a number of cases in the past few years that have followed a similar pattern in that no exemption will be made where a Christian has a conscientious objection in the workplace because he or she cannot endorse, condone or approve homosexual conduct.
Without exception, businesses are required under the Equal Status Act to offer goods and services to anyone who asks for them and the business cannot ‘discriminate’ on the basis of sexual orientation, marital status, etc. While churches are not forced to perform same-sex ceremonies, they might face fines if they do not rent out halls for receptions following a civil partnership ceremony.
The Equality Act 2010 prohibits discrimination on several grounds, including sexual orientation, in the area of the provision of goods and services. While there is a vital exemption to the general prohibition against discrimination for religious organisations when providing goods or services, this can only be relied upon in limited circumstances and is not wide enough to cover many situations.
The Christian owner of a printing firm in Northern Ireland faced being hauled to court over his refusal to print a gay magazine. Nick Williamson says printing the material would go against his religious beliefs. But the editor of MyGayZine, Danny Toner, approached a solicitor and referred the matter to the Equality Commission for Northern Ireland.
The rights of homosexual couples trumped those of Christians, according to a ruling of the Employment Appeal Tribunal. The European Court of Human Rights dismissed the Christian applicant Gary McFarlane and left the balancing out of rights to national appreciation.
Lillian Ladele, a Christian registrar, was disciplined because of her stance on civil partnerships. The European Court of Human Rights dismissed Ladele’s application on January 15th, 2013 and left the balancing out of rights to the national authorities.
The British Parliamentary Undersecretary of State, Liz Truss, states she was not able to rule out the possibility that teachers refusing to use stories or textbooks favoring same sex- marriage face disciplinary consequences.
Christian bed and breakfast owners Mike and Susanne Wilkinson lost a lawsuit on their married-couples-only policy and were fined over 3.500 pounds for denying a double room to a homosexual couple. The Wilkinson's Bed&Breakfast is located in their own house where they live with their children. The courts apply a "zero tolerance" policy on grounds of "unlawful discrimination".
While the law does not protect the freedom of conscience for German pharmacists, a letter from the ministry, dated 1986 upholds it. Legally, the letter is not binding. The uncertainty of whether this letter would be followed by today’s courts constitutes a difficulty in the ethical considerations and the freedom of acting according to one’s conscience of pharmacists in Germany.
If gay marriage is legalized, teachers and others could be forced out of their jobs if they fail to endorse such unions, a top lawyer says. Parents would have no right to insist that their children are withdrawn from school lessons across the curriculum that approve of same-sex marriage. Chaplains who work in the NHS or the Armed Forces could be dismissed if they preach that marriage is between a man and a woman.
The liberal party VVD (Volkspartij voor Vrijheid en Democratie) tabled a proposal in the second chamber of the parliament to prohibit the use of conscientious objection for registrars with regard to conducting gay marriages. There seems to be a majority in the parliament to support this proposal. The topic is expected to be debated until the end of the year 2012.
On the 4th of July 2012 an amendment of the law on public officers was proposed by the members Koser Kaya and Van Hijum to the Dutch Parliament: It calls for the dismissal of registrars for marriages, births and deaths who refuse to perform same-sex marriages on conscientious grounds - if not sufficient other tasks could be found for him or her. The proposal also seeks to establish a mandatory training of students studying to be a registrar on performing same-sex marriages.
The Evangelical Lutheran Church is forced to marry same sex couples after vote of Danish Parliament.
Medical Student, Carolin, 24: “I had to do an internship in a gynecology department, and I can tell you that when there is only one nurse for the whole department, you better forget about your conscientious objection.”
In January 2012, Scotland's largest health board was taken to court by two Catholic nurses from Southern General Hospital in Glasgow, Mary Doogan and Connie Wood, who were denied conscientious objection with regard to abortion procedures. Judgment was handed down on February 29th: the midwives have been told that they must accept the decision of their hospital management and that they must oversee other midwives performing abortions. In January 2013, they took the case to the European Court of Human Rights. The UK supreme court upheld the judgement in December 2014.
An improvement of the national health service law in February 2012 did not fully grant conscientious objection to pharmacists: The law still compels the objecting pharmacists to find a willing employee of the same pharmacy or another pharmacist to sell the "morning-after-pill".
Maria Casado, who holds the UNESCO Chair of Bioethics at the University of Barcelona calls for a national registry of doctors who will not perform abortions, in order to “improve” women’s access to “pregnancy termination.”
A group of nine firemen from Glasgow, including several Roman Catholics, were disciplined by their employers for refusing to march in a ‘gay pride’ rally. Strathclyde Fire Board apologized after legal steps were taken.
A church-going former mayor in Warwickshire who declined to take part in a Halloween event has been found in breach of equality rules for upsetting pagans.
French pharmacists are required by law to sell the „morning after pill“ which causes an early abortion. The absence of conscientious objection is a violation of freedom of religion and conscience.